Baldness occurs either due to genetics or, sometimes, autoimmune diseases, but new drugs show promise against hair loss and may help patients avoid the dreaded consequence.
- Around half of the men over 50 years old experience some form of hair loss
- Researchers found promise in two FDA-approved drugs, one used for cancer and the other for arthritis
- After 5 days of application, mice grew new hairs in just 10 days
- It’s the hopes of researchers that this will lead to an eventual product to help against hair loss
Researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center have tested and found excellent results on mice of two drugs promoting hair growth. They could provide exceptionally useful for people who fear hair loss, or might already be developing it. For now, it’s just a problem that most learn to live with.
However, studies have shown that around 50% of men over 50 years old experience some form of hair loss. And, for the most part, it’s an aspect that they would remedy if they could.
The team of researchers found potential for a fix in two drugs that inhibit the Janus Kinase (JAK) family of enzymes. Both medications have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is great news for future testing. One of the drugs, ruxolitinib (Jakafi), has been approved for certain types of cancer, while the other, tofacitinib (Xeljanz) for rheumatoid arhritis.
Both JAK inhibitors were tested on mice, by looking at their normal hair follicles. Naturally, follicles do not produce hair at a constant. Instead, it’s a cycle between the growing and resting phases. The two drugs were successful in reawakening the resting follicles and prompting them to grow hair, instead of idling.
The mice were treated for 5 days with the drugs, which was applied directly to the skin. With the use of the JAK inhibitors, the rodents were able to grow new hair in just 10 days. None of the subjects in the control group, that went untreated, met such feats.
According to Angela Christiano, their study is “promising”, even though it’s not yet confirmed it if will be successful for male pattern baldness. However, with the aid of the drugs, human hair follicles on skin grafted onto mice also shown significant increase in activity. They were able to efficiently accelerate the growth phase.
As stated by professor of dermatology, Dr. Luis Garza, their ultimate goal is to provide with an “effective topical product” that will encourage and help with hair growth in patients going bald. However, he admitted that there is much more work to be done and research to be conducted before human trials can begin.
The results remain promising nonetheless, and with application of the drugs on the scalp, there is hope that baldness might actually be cured in the future.
Image source: smilingtimes.com